Exposing Fort McMurray’s Darlings

By SHELLEY TERMUENDE, Connect Contributor

Models gather for a fall fashion photoshoot on August 30. The photoshoot is a recent initiative inspired by local businesses to feature female diversity within Fort McMurray. Photo by Meaghan Wozniak Photography.

Models gather for a fall fashion photoshoot on August 30. The photoshoot is a recent initiative inspired by local businesses to feature female diversity within Fort McMurray. Photo by Meaghan Wozniak Photography.

Fort McMurray businesses, Orange Lily Hair and Body Studio and Drop Dead Darlings Clothing Boutique will feature female diversity in their upcoming joint-advertising campaign. Meaghan Wozniak, a local amateur photographer and receptionist at Orange Lily Hair and Body Studio came up with the idea of using local women in an effort to both give back to customers, as well as, inspire Fort McMurray women to get involved in promoting their individuality.

Wozniak encouraged local models to get involved to showcase the Fort McMurray community and both business’ customers saying; “We see people of all sizes, hair colour, and skin tone and we really wanted to show that through the models, who are of course, real clients and customers”.

The volunteering models received hair and makeup services from Orange Lily Hair and Body Studio and modeled Drop Dead Darling’s Clothing. The models featured in Meaghan’s photography range in age, ethnicity and shape with her goal being to prove that all women are beautiful, powerful and confident. Her ideals of body positivity showcase a growing trend in advertising campaigns which promote a realistic portrayal of women.

According to the Canadian Women’s Institute, thirty-seven per cent of Canadians reported knowing of a girl or woman who believes she is “not pretty enough”, and because of this misconception, is dieting or wants to get plastic surgery; and in British Columbia, sixty per cent of girls – who’s Body Mass Index identified them as being underweight – felt as though they were physically overweight. Model Jenna Collins, who recently completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training, illustrated her opinion on how conventional modeling is limiting for those who want to break free of gentrified imagery.

“Photoshop is too widely used in the industry and people aren’t able to display their unique qualities and show the real them.” Collins, who recently shaved half of her head, is hoping the photoshoot will help to boost her confidence.

Local actress Hanna Fridhed was also selected to be a part of the photoshoot. Fridhed just received her permanent residency card after moving to Fort McMurray two years ago. As an avid community volunteer, Fridhed welcomed the opportunity to model for the two companies. Hanna considers local photography to be an opportunity to explore conventional boundaries in modeling.

“It is always interesting to feature models with non-traditional body shapes or facial features. Using local women shows that the community can be diverse and shows that there is a lot of talent and possibilities here,” said Hanna Fridhed.

“It is always interesting to feature models with non-traditional body shapes or facial features. Using local women shows that the community can be diverse and shows that there is a lot of talent and possibilities here”. Fridhed, who has modeled locally for personal enjoyment hopes more women will get involved in modeling stating, “If I can model, anyone can!”

The women featured in August 30th photoshoot varied in experience levels with regards to the fashion photography industry. And while some had professional experience, all of the models got involved in the photoshoot to have some fun. Through modeling, these women were provided with an outlet to admire the unique qualities that make them part of Fort McMurray’s melange and inspire more women to join in for the next photoshoot.

– Connect Weekly –